Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to know what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation. The study involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
What they found is that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Interestingly, the song was specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
In fact, the music is so effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
Source: Collective Evolution Website
Many years ago a Pakistani friend gave me a tape of ghazals sung by a woman with a haunting voice and written by the poet Faiz whose words were equally haunting. I lost the tape but did not forget the voice and was pleased to hear it again. There is a link to a translation here:
Although the words sound romantic and the poem is very beautiful in itself, I understand there are political undertones relating to the separation between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Highly entertaining performance from a very impressive classical quartet.